Pass the Painting Game

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In this pass the painting art game, each student contributes to the final work of art.

By Jennifer Baxter [Jennifer is a teacher at International School Lausanne in Switzerland.]


  • To see that objects don’t have a set color, our imagination is limitless.
  • Cooperative art.

What You Need:

  • tempera paint in many colors–enough for each student to have 1 pot of paint in a different color
  • white painting paper
  • brushes
  • large surface for at least 10 children to be gathered in a circle or in a line as they paint

What You Do:

  1. This project can be used after reading a story, poem, etc. Animals work best as subjects for this activity.
  2. Imagine that you had just read a story about an elephant (as an example).
  3. As a group have the children make a list of all the parts of an elephant and give two adjectives to describe each part: a long, skinny trunk; four short legs; big, floppy ears; etc.
  4. Next have each student go to his/her place in the painting circle or line and pick up one pot of paint.
  5. Now, using the list of descriptions have the students paint one part of the elephant at a time (you read each description.)
  6. After painting one part of the elephant say “pass the painting” and the student passes his paint pot to the person next to him.
  7. You say the next part of the elephant to paint, they paint that part and then you say, “pass the painting.”
  8. Continue until each part of the elephant is painted.
  9. When the painting is complete the elephant might have a pink trunk, four blue legs, green ears, etc.
  10. After the main animal is painted give the kids 1 or 2 minutes to add any details such as landscape, etc to the picture using any colors they want.